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Domestic Relations & Protective Orders

Domestic relations matters include:

  • premarital agreements ("prenups");
  • divorce proceedings;
  • adjudications of child custody and visitation arrangements;
  • modifications of support awards;
  • suits to annul or affirm a marriage; or
  • suits to determine the parentage of a child.

These matters are governed by several areas of law, such as family law and the law of contracts.  Mr. Basu can prepare a suitable agreement or court filing, or represent you in a court proceeding.

Protective Orders

Please note that you should call 911 if you are in danger.  Mr. Basu can help prepare a petition for a protective order, or represent you at the protective order hearing.  The following are examples of circumstances where a petition for a protective order may be appropriate (note that the court can add temporary child support to other conditions in some circumstances):

  • domestic (family) abuse;
  • stalking; or
  • school bullying.

In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly enacted several changes to the laws that govern protective orders.  One change is that the petitioner no longer needs to seek or show a criminal arrest warrant in order to obtain a protective order against a non-family member.

Virginia offers three types of protective orders.  Mr. Basu can help determine which type of protective order (or sequence of orders) best suits the circumstances.  The three types of orders are:

  1. Emergency Protective Order ("EPO"), which usually runs for a few days;
  2. Preliminary Protective Order ("PPO"), which runs for 15 days to a few months; and
  3. [longer-term] Protective Order ("PO"), which runs for up to two years; however, the court can grant extensions beyond two years.

The court may issue an EPO or PPO without hearing the other side (i.e., the respondent).  But in the interests of justice, the court generally will hear both sides (petitioner and respondent) before it shapes and issues the longer-term PO.  Mr. Basu can represent you at an EPO, PPO, or PO hearing.

  Please note that if you have a protective order issued by a court outside Virginia, certain special considerations apply to the enforcement by Virginia of such protective orders.  Mr. Basu can advise you with regard to out-of-state orders.

Divorce

Please call for a consultation as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to divorce.  If you are thinking about getting a divorce, there is an initial determination as to which court can hear your case.  Support and child custody are common issues.  Some cases involve property division or have immigration consequences.  There may be acceptable alternatives to absolute divorce.  Mr. Basu will analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and mitigating factors in your case, and work with you to develop a strategy for the hearing that suits your circumstances.

General information

Look in your local courthouse for current, up to date, versions of these publications.